The Vision of Thomas Jefferson for Today's America

The Vision of Thomas Jefferson for Today's America
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Multipurpose Room
1 Pace Plaza, NYC

[Thomas Jefferson]   Eric S. Petersen, a New York attorney and editor of Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness (a compilation of Jefferson's writings) and Bill Barker, the well-known Jefferson interpreter based in Colonial Williamsburg will present the "The Vision of Thomas Jefferson for Today's America." Jefferson's legacy and vision are surprisingly relevant today in the midst of the global economic crisis. Eric Petersen and Bill Barker (as Thomas Jefferson) will discuss the issues of
  • Civil liberties, the Constitution, and government's role in the pursuit of citizens welfare
  • National debt
  • The banking system
  • Globalization and International trade
  • The role of government in regulating financial markets
  • America's role in the world
As America begins to renew herself in the midst of a profound national crisis, our country is fortunate that we can draw guidance from an extraordinary wellspring of wisdom — the vision of Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson was the founder and leader who was best able to articulate our nation's highest ideals and lay the foundation for America's hope and promise. His perseverance and genius helped consolidate the victory of the American Revolution.

Two great admirers of Thomas Jefferson will share their insights as to the character and principles of this great American. Eric Petersen, a New York attorney and editor of Light and Liberty, a book of inspiration drawn from Jefferson's writings, will present Jefferson's enduring life philosophy and its continuing relevance.

Bill Barker, the well-known Jefferson interpreter based in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, will offer a portrayal of Jefferson, the man, so genuine that you will feel as if you are engaged in a conversation with Thomas Jefferson himself. It was once said that Thomas Jefferson "had a charm of manner and conversation that passed all description" and that he poured out instruction "like light from an inexhaustible solar fountain." Bill Barker conveys that brilliance and amiability in his always deft and engaging portrayal.

About Eric S. Petersen
  [Eric S. Petersen]
Eric S. Petersen, a partner in the law firm of Hawkins, Delafield and Wood LLP, is the editor of a book of Thomas Jefferson's writings entitled Light and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness. In it he has brilliantly laced together the eloquent genius of Thomas Jefferson. Happiness, hope, liberty and peace are among the elevating topics in Jefferson's own words compiled after ten years of studying his reflections in reports, state papers, speeches and twenty thousand letters.

Mr. Petersen graduated cum laude from Brown University in 1970 with a degree in American History, and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1973. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs including ABC, CNBC, CNN and the Fox News Channel and offered lectures around the country and as far away as the University of Iceland. He enjoys marathon running, meditation and international travel.

About Bill Barker
  [Bill Barker]
Bill Barker received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history, from Villanova University and attended the University of Pennsylvania. Attracted to the stage at an early age he became a professional actor, director and producer. He was cast as Jefferson in many different venues including the musical 1776. Bill Barker is the same height, weight and general appearance as Mr. Jefferson.

Over the years he has evolved a repertoire of Jefferson presentations tailored to corporate and government audiences, as well as schools, societies and festivals. Bill Barker performed as Jefferson at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain, France and the Las Vegas Strip. He presented for Chataqua and has been featured as Jefferson in several magazines including Time, People, Atlantic, Philadelphia, Southern Living, Reader's Digest, and the Colonial Williamsburg Journal.

For more information, contact event coordinator Professor Elena Goldman,, (212)618-6516.